The primary responsibility of pastors should be to care for "the sheep". But there is more to this than rounding them up and fleecing them. It means giving up your life that others may be blessed.
Many of us do enjoy the thrill of public speaking, especially when the Spirit of God moves. But this is only a part of what true pastors do. True pastors are called to get alongside people, encourage them, teach them, patiently care for them as well as to rebuke them in love when they are wrong. Pastors are called to promote reconciliation and peace within the church congregation, to lead people in worshiping God, to teach true doctrine, and to stay faithful to the Spirit of God so that He is pleased to minister through them.
In Ezekiel 34 God rebukes the shepherds of Israel, meaning the spiritual leaders of Israel. God tells them off for NOT doing certain things, but doing wrong things. If we consider the opposite of what these bad shepherds did, we will get a very good idea of what God expects from true shepherds through whom Jesus Christ, the ultimate GOOD SHEPHERD, is working.
Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: "Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 "You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, [but] you do not feed the flock. 4 "The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. 5 "So they were scattered because [there was] no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 "My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching [for them."]
So we see the following:
1. Shepherds/pastors should not be focusing on feeding themselves with the good things of life, but rather on the needs of the people they are caring for.
2. Shepherds/pastors should not be centred around how to use the people of God to enrich themselves (with the wool and at which comes from the sheep), but rather on FEEDING THE FLOCK. This means delivering the life-changing Word of God in season to people with the Holy Spirit's enabling.
3. Pastors must strengthen the weak (vs 4).
4. Pastors must heal the sick (vs 4). It didn't say refer them to psychiatrists and professional counsellors who charge outrageous fees. But as Jesus said to the disciples : "YOU give them something to eat."
5. Pastors must bind up the broken. Meaning positioning people so they don't get further damaged emotionally or spiritually, but rather are strengthened with the appropriate spiritual help until they heal correctly. Broken hearted people should find healing and hope in church.
6. Shephers/pastors should seek the lost – especially backslidden Christians. Backslidden Christians are everywhere, and pastors should seek them out.
7. Pastors should NOT rule over the people with force and cruelty. All this power politics and using people to take them blame, all this manipulation of people and emotional punishment of people is WRONG and God won't accept this as true ministry at all.
This ministry of being a pastor is very demanding, and this is why we should financially give to pastors so they can devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word, as well as to the people. Otherwise, if we force pastors to be bi-vocational, through our stinginess, we are hurting not only them, but ultimately ourselves and the interests of the Kingdom of God as well.
Something is wrong if the people of God are scattered and not in productive and healthy churches which are growing. May God help all pastors to be those pastors who do what God enjoins, so as to gather with the Lord, and not to scatter.